This I Believe

Charles - Fresno, California
Entered on October 3, 2006
Age Group: 50 - 65
Themes: love
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Life events can be like a series of pictures,snapshots, precious gifts from the heart which can allow us to truly see ourselves and the fabric of our lives.Personal vision seems to be a elusive yet important life principle. Your vision describes the ideal future for you to attain and provides meaning and direction for you to break through present limitations. Vision is having that real sense of what is possible in your life. There was a faint memory from a summer in Long Island that I just recently discovered. I was holding my mother’s hand walking barefoot down a sandy road on Long Island to Ella’s house. Ella had a modest Cape Cod architectural style home with a fenced garden in the back that was always in some state of disrepair. Suddenly, my mother focused the picture for me. “It was the afternoon when you and I met Eleanor Roosevelt.It was when she was visiting for the weekend.”The pictures became clearer and I could see Eleanor Roosevelt leaning down to shake my hand, a smile, and a gracious greeting. She knelt down next to me so that we were at the same level. She would light up a room when she entered. Despite her severe shyness she travelled the nation speaking out on issues concerning human rights , inequality, and fairness. Eleanor Roosevelt was a close friend of the family and a hero in our home. She would later speak at my high school and propose a system of community service where all students would participate in voluntary activities to support the school and each other. Such a system was developed at our school as a result of her work.Eleanor Roosevelt’s personal vision, her beautful song, was a true gift inspiring a new generation. New York City had come to an almost complete standstill with the arrival of the Beatles. The level of excitement and energy was almost palpable. It was all so new exciting and wonderful. Their songs revealed an extraordinary talent, melody, and brilliant artistic style. It was more than that, though. They were incredibly witty funny, with such great charm as they bantered with the press. I made my way outside the hotel where they were staying and had been walking around an apparent side entrance to the hotel when a car pulled up, a door suddenly opened, and out stepped an entourage with the Beatles. Time literally seemed to stand still for that moment. Was this a dream? The New York City background noise became fainter. I looked up and saw John Lennon. No, this was not a dream. He was smiling. He turned toward me. “What is your name, young man?””Charlie”I replied. I also remember saying something to the effect that he was the greatest. “Charlie, do you live here?” “Yes,I do.” “Great place. I hope to come back some day. Perhaps you could show me around.” I could show you where I live, maybe evn taken you out to Long Island” I replied. He turned to look at me again, and placed his hand on my shoulder. “What do you want to do with your life,Charlie?” Surprisingly, I realized that I had never really seriously considered the question before. I replied,”I have thoughts of being a doctor.” He smiled. “Always, always follow your dreams Charlie. I know that you are going to be very successful. Tell me how it turns out. Look me up when I come back. We’re off to sing some songs. Ringo’s not driving.” He laughed as only John Lennon could laugh and was gone as quickly as he had arrived at that spot. Later I would speak to the doorman who was with him the night he died, and spend time at the site where he was shot remembering his life and music. I am now a practicing physician and in my office is a picture of John Lennon in New York City from that time when we met.I knew from these experiences that my life would change forever. It was time for me to follow my personal vision and to sing my song. I eventually did go to medical school ,married Becky, the most beautiful woman I had ever known, and became a father to three precious children, Mike, Carrie, Kevin. My personal vision was being realized and now it was time for me to pass on these stories, these precious gifts to others. Those beautiful gifts from the heart were always there. I simply had to open my arms to receive them. This I believe-Love truly is the greatest power in the world.